Pro boxing returned to Worcester, Massachusetts as Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) and Shearns Boxing Promotions presented “New England’s Future VII” at the famed Palladium.
Undefeated heavyweight Cassius “C.O.G.” Chaney (21-0, 14 KOs), promoted by Maun Events, won a 10-round unanimous decision over game Shawndell Terell Winters (13-6, 12 KOs), a former NAB heavyweight champion, in the main event.
Chaney, fighting out of New London (CT), was a standout college basketball player at the University of New Haven. Neither fighter was hurt during the fight, although three consecutive rights from Chaney in the third round did buzz Winters.
Wildly popular Hartford fighter Richie “Popeye The Sailor” Rivera, promoted by Star Boxing, rolled to his 20th career victory without a loss, stopping Ernesto “Gatti” Berrospe Rivas (11-18, 6 KOs). All it took was one powerful right to the Mexican’s body, which came at the 2:16 mark of round one. The powerful Rivera, who is a former UBF light heavyweight and ABF Continental Americas cruiserweight champion, added the vacant NBA Intercontinental cruiserweight strap to the collection.
“I’m going to be world champion,” the charismatic Hartford fighter said after the fight. “I want Badou Jack next.”
Puerto Rico Olympian Enrique Collazo (16-1-1, 11 KOs) registered knockdowns in the third and fourth rounds, the latter from a vicious body shot that hurt Colombian Ronald Montes (18-14, 16 KOs) so severely he was able to continue in round five. Collazo was crowned the NBA Intercontinental super middleweight title holder.
Puerto Rico-native Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (6-1-1, 3 KOs), fighting out of nearby Southbridge (MA), and Bridgeport’s (CT) Carlos Marrera, III (2-6-2) fought to an entertaining 6-round draw in their battle for the vacant New England Junior Welterweight Championship. The momentum moved from one fighter to the other in each round in what was the Fight of the Night.
Worcester heavyweight Bryan Daniels (6-1, 4 KOs) defeated Corey Morey (1-5), who injured his left knee and unable to continue fighting. The fight was ruled a first-round TKO win for Daniels, who is a 2-time New England Golden Gloves champion.
Fighting for the first time in 3 ½ years, Worcester super middleweight Bobby “BH3” Harris (3-0-1,) worked off the rust against wild-swinging Honduran Juan Celin Zapata (6-19-2, 4 KOs) for a 4-round unanimous decision. Harris is a two-time national amateur champion and World Games Silver medalist.
Hometown favorite Demek “Hightower” Edmunds (3-0, 2 KOs), a 3-time New England Golden Gloves champion, was tested for the first time by Brazilian heavyweight Rafael De Souza (0-2). The final score (40-36 X 3) was not indicative of the competition, in which Edmunds pitched a shutout, but De Souza held his own for two rounds until college graduate Edmunds took total command in the third and fourth rounds.
Decorated Hartford amateur Angel “Set It Off” Gonzalez (5-0, 3 KOs) overcame a significant height disadvantage against his Hawaiian opponent, Richard “Hard To Hit” Bernard (1-4-1), for a hard-fought 4-round unanimous decision victory. Gonzalez is a 3-time New England Golden Gloves, 2-time Ringside Nationals and 2014 National PAL champion.
Worcester middleweight Eslih Owusu (5-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated, decking journeyman Carlos Galindo (1-17) twice when the fight was stopped by the referee midway through the opening bell.
Promising junior middleweight Josniel “TG” Castro (4-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Boca Raton (FL), pounded Anthony Everett (1-9) from the opening bell until the end, using crisp combination to drop Everett twice en route to a 4-round unanimous decision (40-34 X 3).